by Librada Peters
We the first people had a way of life superior to any other brought to us. We lived in balance with our Great Spirit, sky and earth. Then unbalance was brought, leaving many of our people lost for some time, many heartbroken to see our way of life disappear to king who white men called great. Though 200 years of genocide, oppression, colonization, could not erase who we are.
We are finally coming home.
Many when finding out the true history of the U.S. are enraged. They thought we were just dumb Indians, just waiting to be discovered. But the truth is we had math, astronomy, we had civilizations before the white man ever set foot.
We had all this and a higher understanding, we knew who we were, how we were created, and where the Creator placed us, the birth land of our people. And we did not come across the Bering Straight. We reigned many nations upon this land in peace, from Cape Horn Argentina to Canada.
The only thing we didn’t know that was brought was war. In all of the many languages we spoke there were no words for stealing, war, rape, or greed, no word for guns or alcohol, or money, we did not need it.
We had endurance games such as running, wrestling, sports like hockey, originally from far Northern Nations. They called it “hoo-kee” or “la crosse.” Now compare European games such as poker. Look at the ethics behind it, it’s secretive, you have to lie without emotion to win. Chess is about conquering, imprisonment, and the white side always starts first. Some say chess helps you think. We say, “Think like who?”
Though all the games or sports Europeans brought, no one plays them better then our people. Jim Thorpe, for example, of the Sac and Fox Nation was voted the Great Athlete of the first half of the 20th Century. We are not the stereotype of drunken Indians. We are business owners, teachers, doctors, writers, poets, and singers. Don’t support the stereotypes. Support your people.
Instead of a 50 Cent CD, buy a War Club CD or some Quese IMC. Instead of Slipknot, buy Blackfire or Unofficial, hit up the bookstore and buy “The People Shall Continue,” by Simon Ortiz of the Acoma Nation.
In our prophecies it is said after the sixth generation is a time of disturbance and change. We will be lifted up by the Seventh Generation to carry on the true ways of our people. Our heritage, everything our ancestors stood for is in our hands. We are the Seventh Generation.
Remember, we are not Indian, or Native American, we were Native before America, we are the first people, we do not belong to tribes, we belong to Nations. You are not Navajo! You are Dine! You are not Sioux! You are Dakotah, Lakotah, Nakotah! You are not Arapaho! You are of the Blue Sky People! It is your duty to find the true name of your people, not the name they gave to put you on reservations, the name that our Great Spirit gave us.
When our land was free we were a Great people, and will be again.
This story by Librada Peters, 17, was featured in SNAG Issue #5. She is Mdewakanton, Dakota Nation. Art by Mathew Barkhausen.